Dr. Popkow recommends no tweezing, plucking, or waxing in the area that will be treated for six weeks prior to a session. Patients should also avoid sun exposure or any application of tanning lotion during this period, because sun exposure can make hair removal less effective. If you already have irritated or sunburned skin, wait until the skin heals fully before coming in for laser hair removal.
At least a few days prior to treatment, be sure to stop using medications like Renova and Retin-A, or any topical cream that contains alpha hydroxy acids, all of which increase skin sensitivity.
Prior to the procedure, Dr. Popkow will clean the area that is about to be treated. He may apply a numbing gel if the skin undergoing treatment is sensitive. Then, a concentrated beam of laser light is applied over the area of hair targeted for removal. The hair pigments absorb the light which destroys hair follicles in the skin.
The procedure not only removes hair but can restrict future growth for anywhere from months to years. The specific results vary from patient to patient. If hair does regrow over time, it’s usually very fine and light-colored.
The tingling sensation patients feel from the beam of the laser during laser hair removal treatment can feel like a pinch or the snapping of a rubber band. Because the laser treatments are fast, any discomfort is short-lived.
Dr. Popkow recommends patients come in for, on average, six to eight treatments with six-week intervals between treatment sessions. Sticking to this long-term plan will help patients achieve optimal results.
Even though treated skin might appear red and swollen after treatment, most patients are able to immediately return to everyday activities. However, patients should avoid tanning beds and prevent direct sunlight from hitting treated skin.
No, the laser procedure is much faster and significantly less painful compared to electrolysis, but achieves similar results. While electrolysis involves the employment of heat and chemical energy and a probe inserted into follicles, laser hair removal done by Dr. Popkow is a short, non-invasive, and virtually painless procedure.
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